Dangerous Drugs Like Heroin & Texas Law
Since the mid-20th Century, the USA has been in a fierce war with drugs, both drug possession, and distribution. However, some states stand out among those on the front-line of this drug war, and among them is Texas. The State of Texas has among the strictest stand on the possession and distribution of drugs, such as heroin and methamphetamine, which are quite popular, not only in the state but also all around the US.
If an individual is found in possession of even a small amount of heroin, an amount even as small as a gram or less, one will be charged with a felony and if convicted, can earn the person in question a considerable jail time. If you’re reading this as a result of conducting research following the arrest of yourself or a loved one, and you’re looking for help, contact Pearland, Tx criminal lawyer Sandra Oballe for help.
The Texas Drug Court Program
Back in 2001, Texas lawmakers drafted legislation called the ‘Drug Court Program,’ which is operational in some of its counties such as Dallas and El Paso. This program acts as a guideline for prosecuting those found with the possession of heroin, but are non-violent offenders. Such offenders are taken to court and assessed. If found eligible for the program, these offenders are put under strict monitoring as they undergo rehabilitation for 12-18 months. This program aims at preventing relapse, as going to prison doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’ll come out better than they were. However, the Drug court program only caters for those caught with an amount smaller than 4 grams, as this is most likely for personal use
Penalties for intent to distribute.
If found with an amount of more than 4 grams, the authorities may charge one with trafficking charges, which is a first-degree felony. This further intensifies if one is found selling to the public, and even worse if one is found selling near a school or other children related facilities. The more significant the amount, the worse the charges get.
- 4-14 grams would earn you three years in jail and a fine of up to $50000
- 14-30 grams would result in a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of $100000
- If the amount exceeds 30 grams, one may face up to 25 years in jail and a fine of $500000
- Things become intense if the amount found measures in the kilogram range, as this is a one-way ticket to a lifetime in prison.
The Barrio Azteca Gang
Even though many people may see these laws as harsh, once in a while, there are incidences that occur that remind us why we need this hard line. In Texas, distribution of heroin and other narcotics is mainly under the control of gangs and cartels. Among these gangs is the Barrio Azteca Gang, which is a heroin ring that dealt with the large scale distribution of heroin (Link 1).
Formed back in 1986, the Barrio Azteca Gang has grown and currently has a lot of influence both in Mexico and the US. It is not only linked to the distribution of heroin but also several murders in the many years it has been in operation. Back in 2013, it was estimated that it had over 3000 in the US alone, coupled with over 5000 members in Juarez.
In 2018, a multi-agency task force led a two-year investigation that was targeted at street level dealers and led to the arrest of 17 gang members, with 28 more suspects facing charges in court. In addition to this, $276,587 was seized during the raid (Link 1).
Texas has a severe drug problem, which is most likely due to its proximity to the Mexican border. Therefore, with such high and severe cases of drug possession and distribution, coupled with other drug-related crimes, there is a need for strict and uncompromising measures to stay ahead of this precarious situation.